Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Back to my blog - thanks to one household hint!

My long dry spell is coming to an end, I think. It’s been so long a time since I even entertained the idea of writing that I almost forgot that I loved to write! It hit me this morning that yes, health and other problems aside, the art of communication is something I’ve always held very dear. For me, the sharing of our lives’ stories is something precious, and really worthwhile. Important, even.

It feels as if I am emerging from a cocoon: the long winter is over and for me, it seems to have zipped right on by. Knowing that this is highly unusual for me, and being a person of the type “A” variety, being captured indoors for a few months always seemed interminable, something to be endured. But, not this past winter.

And, it all started with Face Book. Rather, it began with a meme that caught my eye on FB, which was one that was a helpful household hint.  The meme said to clean out those pesky junk drawers by categorizing everything in them, separating and storing the stuff into small plastic bags. That seemed easy enough, and very inexpensive to boot! So, I did it with the first “junk drawer.” Amazingly, it took almost no time at all! In my mind, I had pictured it taking at least an hour, and as being a very boring, tedious chore. The funny thing is, it wasn’t time consuming, nor was it tedious at all. In fact, I found several things I had been looking for. And, in the bargain, threw out many dried out pens, broken pencil stubs, nearly petrified elastic bands and a whole population of twist ties.  Hold it! Very wisely, I labeled a small plastic bag “Twist ties” and put a handful or two into it. You never know when you are going to need a few – and now, I was prepared!

I think the whole process took me just about 15 minutes in all. So, I went on to the next drawer – and then the next, and so on. Almost before I realize it, my entire kitchen drawer ‘ensemble’ was neat and clean! The unexpected bonus was that my spirits were lifted and a strange excitement sprouted in my inner knower (or, as some people say, their core, or spirit, or soul).  It all worked so well with the kitchen drawers that I decided to go on to other projects, such as cleaning out and straightening up our closets. This, of course, took some time because I had other things to do as well. But, it was a great feeling to know that at home waiting for me was a house with areas that patiently waited for my attention.  It almost evolved into a game of some sort, such as “guess which area I am going to tackle today.”

As the winter wore on, I was often oblivious of the foul weather going on outside. Venturing out only when I had to, even that took on a new patina. Instead of dreading the biting cold, it was an almost welcome change – momentarily – from the cozy interior of my home. Just knowing that I had such a clean, tidy and comforting place to return to made the sacrifice of being in the miserable weather well worth it. Odd! I had never thought of it that way before. Hmmm…I thought. I silently wondered if there could there be more to this cleaning instinct than first meets the eye. 

A tiny voice from deep within whispered, “Yes! You are taking charge!”  And, it was 100% correct!

All of us tend to collect many things over the years, and anyone who has ever had to move knows this very well. So much stuff! So many decisions to be made: should I keep it or toss it? Give it away? Will or promise it to someone? It is almost as if these items are taking over our houses, closets, drawers, cabinets, garages and so on. Instead of us deciding which should remain, we usually toss it aside and promise ourselves to take care of it ‘one day.’ Except, that one day never seems to arrive! And so the pile grows, and grows and grows. It grows until eventually we run out of room. And, believe it or not, this is exactly what happened with us!

We have a very old Philadelphia house, dating back more than 100 years. The walls are nearly 2 feet thick, made of solid field stone. It is small by today’s standards, but for two people it is big enough. However, my husband and I were unlucky enough to inherit our parents’ belongings – all of them, many of which even now remain stored away in unopened cardboard cartons. Hey….I made a dent this past winter, at least with our own things,  but truth be told, I sill have a long way to go just dealing with this inherited bunch of stuff. Anyway, I realized somewhere along the way that truly going through everything and knowing exactly what we had and where it now resides was very empowering!

I even extended this effort to my craft table and area down in the basement. Don’t laugh! I make jewelry and have thousands of beads, baubles, wires, findings, etc., etc., that I painstakingly sorted through and put in little plastic drawer-type things. Now I know exactly what I have to work with and so far, my creativity level has increased a hundred fold! Isn’t that weird?? Just neatening things up ignited that spark of creativity once again, and I have been making some very beautiful things.

My desk also got the neatening up treatment, and in the process I found the whole batch of greeting cards I had bought and then misplaced. Even they got sorted through, and now when I want to send a “thinking of you” or “get well” card, it is right at my finger tips! This is now super easy to do since all of my postage stamps are in a little baggie in a kitchen drawer, neatly labeled and ready for use.

One day I seriously listened to the daily News on TV and to my surprise, they were talking about St. Patrick’s day, and day light savings time starting up again. WOW! I had no clue we had come to that point already. So busy all winter long, I realized that spring had crept up and Old Man Winter was heading back up north again to whatever land he goes to when spring arrives.

So, there you have it:  what started with a simple meme on Face Book, ended up with a person feeling very satisfied. I love my house, now, and look forward to each day. No matter what I need, I know I either have it or I don’t, and I no longer waste time or money stuck in that no-man’s land of “I just don’t know.” 

Best of all, I feel encouraged to start writing again. Here I am! Back to my blog....!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Interview With an Angel

Interview with an Angel
Writing assignment Oct. 3, 2014

I was thinking the other day about reincarnation – what if it was really true?  What if we really could and do come back?  I wonder what the process would be like.  Then last night, I had the strangest dream!

I dreamed that for some reason I was a visitor up in heaven.  As I walked along this beautiful golden pathway I saw many beings – kind of like what I would imagine angels to look like, only without the wings – sitting on benches alongside the path. It was hard to tell if they were masculine or feminine – they all seemed alike. They were all happily talking with each other, and as I passed by they smiled and nodded or waved me until one angel, who was so surprised to see a living soul up in heaven, approached me.

"Wow!  You really are alive!"  The look on his or her face was one of pure wonder and dare I say a little excitement, too.

"Yes, I am still alive," I replied, and then continued, "I think I've been given special dispensation to come up here and look around a little bit because I was really curious about reincarnation."

The angel/being thought about this for a moment and broke out in a broad smile, and invited me to ask him/her any questions I wanted to ask.  This was too great an opportunity to pass up, so I sat down on the bench beside the angel and opened with this question:

"So, is it true?  When people die do they really get a chance to go back to earth and live again?"  I asked.

"Yes, it happens all the time!",   the angel replied.  "In fact, that's what all of us who are sitting on these benches are doing right now – we are waiting to be born once again.  Right now, we are considered split souls.  That is, half of our soul is already inside the baby in its mother's womb and the other half of our soul is sitting right here on these benches, just waiting for the big moment!"

I was instantly perplexed.  "So, the baby inside the mother's womb does have a soul, correct?  That is to say, it is a living being with a real soul?”

“Yes, “ the angel patiently  answered. I know there is much discussion on earth about this in some cultures, but take it from me, anything that lives has a soul.”

“Do you mean to say even animals, trees, flowers, and so on?  All living things have souls??” I asked timidly.

“Yes, absolutely!”  said the angel. “A soul is a spark of life energy from the Main Source -- and so is Divine.  Things cannot live without that spark of energy, which human beings referred to as the soul.”

Now that we have that settled, my mind began to race with other questions!  I next asked the angel if we get to choose what kind of person we want to be, that is, what subdivision, and what sex?  Seeing as were all human, there is only one race – the human race.  But it comes in many flavors!  The angel answered that no, not exactly.  I asked him what he meant.

“We can put it before the Divine Council that we would like to come back different than we were before.  However, a specific choice is never ours.  For instance, we may have been black in the previous life and want to come back as white. Or, we may have been a man and want to try it out as a woman.  The Grand Divine Council first consults with God, then it makes the final decision.  For instance, in some of my incarnations I was at one time an Eskimo man, and another time I was South Pacific Islander woman!  And one time, I was a mountain person and right after that I wound up living too close to the desert.  Each of these lives taught me a lot about life itself and ultimately, about human nature.  Each time, it felt as if I was becoming more of a whole being and not just a part.”

I pondered that for a moment and had the sensation that I understood what the angel was saying.  For instance, in my own life I knew frightening poverty and great hunger.  Then, things improved greatly and I enjoyed the comfort and security of a substantial bank account.  Each of these experiences had their own pluses as well as minuses, and I knew them intimately from having lived them.

“OK,” I pressed on, “so what if we don't want to come back?  Does that mean our chance to come back again is then lost forever?”

“OH, no, “the angel replied. “The good Lord always gives us the choice of wanting to improve ourselves and hone our skills by going back to the proving ground, the great educational institution, that is called Earth” it said with a warm and lovely smile lighting up its face.

“Well, thank goodness for that!” I responded. “But one thing puzzles me.”

“Please tell me what it is!, "  the angel said.

“What about all of our loved ones who also passed on – with all the coming and going that seems to be happening up here,  do we ever run into them again?”

At this, Angel chuckled. “Yes, of course!” it answered, “That is the beauty of the whole thing.  Here in heaven, souls, or spirits as some call them,  instantly recognize each other – there is no searching, not really.  All one needs to do is to think about the loved one and instantly, the loved one’s soul appears.  Even if a spirit decides to go back for another lifetime or two or three or more, there is a tiny part of his soul or spirit (because remember, it is a spark of energy!)  that remains here in heaven.  Therefore, people are never ever lost to one another.  The love they felt for one another never dies, and it is there to comfort one another any time at all,.”  As if reading my mind, he added, “Yes, this applies to beloved pets as well. After all, as living beings they, too, have souls. Up here, all love goes on forever.”

And that's when it hit me - that's why they call it heaven!

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Secret

Our writing assignment for our Writers Group this week was for us to tell each other something that we have never divulged to anyone in the group before. I chose one small event from my past and had to go all the way back to my high school days to do it! That being said, here is "My Secret".....

My Secret Story
Writing Group Assignment for September 5, 2014

This story that I am about to share with you has haunted me for years. This is truly the first time I’ve ever shared it with anyone. First, roll the clock back to the year 1964, sometime in the early spring, I think it was. The country was obsessed with social change, the Vietnam war, and college campuses erupting in fury.  For me, it was a confusing, and on this one day, a very scary time…

It was just at the end of my Typewriting I class, and as per usual, I joined the queue of students returning our books to their customary place on the book shelf beneath the windows. Dust mites lazily floated in the late afternoon sunshine, and all I could think about was meeting with my friends after school down at the corner store. Suddenly, my back exploded in a world of pain and I fell forward into the book shelf, and landed on the floor. My classmates screamed and/or yelled, depending on their sex – and I thought I had been shot. It was hard to breathe and as the kids all crowded around me, one solitary figure loomed above them all – the teacher, Mr. Davis – and the look on his face was one of pure, unadulterated rage.  Too stunned to even speak, I gasped up at him, my eyes begging to know what had happened. At last, he spoke:

“HOW DARE YOU!” he boomed at me.  “I said hello to you as you walked past me and you never even looked at me, much less answered me!”  His face was an ugly reddish purple, with huge throbbing veins in his forehead clearly standing out. My heart began to beat at a ridiculous rate of speed, and all I could do was cry. Apparently, in a terrible fit of anger, he slapped me as hard as he could, square in the center of my back. Hot tears streamed down my face, as my friends bent down to help me to my feet. Shaking like a leaf, and on weak and trembling legs, I was helped to the Nurse’s office by my now irate friends, as the boys in the room encircled Mr. Davis. I don’t know what happened in that room next, and I really did not care. Mr. Davis had a reputation for having a really bad, explosive temper, and few people deliberately crossed him, ever.

Safely in the confines of the Health Office, I managed to tell the nurse what had happened as best as I could. Her face showed extreme shock and surprise – and something else: extreme worry and fear. Then, she asked me two simple questions:

“Do you want me to call your parents, Marie? Should I call the authorities?”  I knew somehow with a knowledge far beyond my years that my next sentence would have a profound, life-long effect upon that man and could have the power to either help…or destroy… him.  I thought of his wife and his two adorable little children – and wondered what they would do if their father wound up in jail. I wondered what this might do to his marriage, and therefore his entire family. No matter how upset I was, or in how much pain, shock and surprise, I just could not be the one to help take that man away from his family. Such are the errors of the young!

“No. I’m ok,” I weakly replied.
“Are you sure?” she asked, her hand gently resting upon my own hand.
“Yes. I’m sure. I know he didn’t really mean it – he has a very bad temper and for whatever reason, he just lost it.” I finished.
“Is that it?” she asked, not quite sure she heard me correctly or not.
“I would like one thing, “ I said, “and that is for him to come in here and apologize to me.” 

Without another word, she went to get Mr. Davis.

 It looked as if he had been crying, or so it seemed. His eyes were red and his now very pale face was wet with either tears or sweat, or perhaps both.  He sat down in a chair in front of me, his head hanging sheepishly low, his eyes avoiding mine.

“I – I’m so sorry, Marie,” he stammered, “I don’t know what came over me! I just wanted so much for you to say hello to me and when you didn’t, I just lost it,” he finished lamely.

I thought about it for only a moment, and then replied,
“Mr. Davis. I think you need some counseling for your bad temper, before things get out of control again. You have your wife and children to think about, so don’t do this for me, do it for yourself and for them.” 

As far as I know, I was told this is what he did do. He went on to enjoy a very good career, minus his horrific temper-filled outbursts, even managing to become Assistant Vice Principal.

Was I right or wrong? At the time, I felt I had made the right choice. You see, I knew he was a good person down deep but I also knew he had a real problem with anger. I look back on it all in my later years and thank God that I had the insight to try to be a help to this man – although, I admit, it may not have been the wisest choice at the time.

But, that is me. I act “off the cuff” and will go the distance for a fellow human being, sometimes, no matter what.

Please note that I did not use my former teacher's real name.